Tag Archives: movie review

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (a movie reflection)

I enjoyed this movie, I recently saw it for the first time.  It made a startling commentary on the American Dream, and what it means to form the Identity of self.  I rank it as impactful of a movie as “Death of a Salesmen”.

In case you are unfamiliar with the movie, the movie is centered around Audrey Hepburn. she plays a rambunctious party girl who makes her living by playing on the sentiments of would-be playboys.  She is a copious flirt, who has no value in men other than what they can provide for her as far as lifestyle and status.  She is an interesting character in so much as she doesn’t place much value in her own feelings or emotions.  There is one point in the movie, where she chooses to be with a wealthy politician as opposed to the man she has fallen in love with, simply for the superficial life-style, that she doesn’t so much value.  She came from nothing, in fact, her first marriage was the product of a man who rescued her from stealing scraps in his field.  And she ran away from this marriage to seek bigger and better things in the world.  in fact, that is a repeating theme in the movie, Audrey’s character is constantly running from things.

She met her first husband by running away from her destitute life.  She ran away from this husband to pursue a lofty social status.  She ran away from this socialite life to seek a life with a foreign politician.Her love interest in the movie is a writer by the name of Paul Varjak,  She fell in love with him ran away from this because she wanted something better.  Eventually, her male co-star caught up to her and confronted her about all of this running.  And this is where I found so much value in the movie.  The movie deals much with the ideas of identity, social status, morality, self-sustainability, love and fulfillment.  When the co-star, who she fell in love with, finally catches up with her, she is forced to confront all of these issues.  She is forced to decide what she really places value in and what she will choose to cherish in life.

Is status really important, or is it all a facade in the long run?

Who exactly is she?

She has changed her name on multiple occasions because she was never satisfied with who she was to begin with.  She was in constant search of someone to be, when in actuality all she needed to do was discover who she was and value and be that.  She had to reconcile the fact that a man can have a greater value than just a provider of “things”.  A man can be a purveyor of love and companionship, something beyond the superficial role of provider that society has deemed him.  She had to reconcile this truth and accept it, only then could she understand what love is and accept the fact that she deserves this type of healthy love.

In one scene, she symbolically comes to terms with all of these truths.

Aside from the commentary this film provides on social aspects of society, it is well written and has a great comedic aspect to it.  I would recommend this movie to anyone on any level of viewership.  Like poetry, most art is subjective and the viewer of the art can derive any meaning they want from the art.  It just takes and a willing mind and shaping of perspective.

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The Fountain (a movie reflection)

The Fountain:

This is a movie starring Hugh Jackman. he plays a scientist named Tom Creo who is losing his wife, Izzy, to cancer.

This movie is yet another movie that contains particular elements that I enjoy to discuss.  If you have read my other movie blogs, you can probably guess where this is headed.  Although, depicted with a twist, this is another movie that depicts gnostic ideals intertwined with messianic themes.  Although, one can say they are the same because to an extinct gnostics or those involved in mystery schools believe men can become their own Savior.  They belief this process and knowledge is reserved for the worthy or those in the know and like Jesus said “let those who have ears to hear, hear and eyes to see, see”

The movie is broken in up into a Trinity of sorts.  Tom lives out three different lives within this film.  And like the last movie that I reviewed, Sublime, the three story lines are told concurrently and tend to intertwine.  So that the viewer does not know where one ends and the next begins.  Tom’s three lives consist of that of mid-evil times representing his lower man–lower self.  That of contemporary time–representing his current state of mental progression–a machine like being where the belief in technology can save all.  And that of a spiritual time–outside of time and space–representing his higher self–ascension.

Thus, Hugh Jackman plays multiple roles within this movie; he plays himself, but throughout different past life regressions or in this case progressions. He starts off as a Spaniard invading a Mayan Temple, in which he is mortally wounded in an epic battle at the top of a Mayan ziggurat.  He is stabbed below the ribs, in the same location as Jesus was when Jesus was upon the Cross.  The Mayan that stabs him says the first step to enlightenment is self-sacrifice.  Alluding to the gnostic belief that Jesus indeed “killed” himself (by allowing himself to die on the Cross when he had the power to save himself) to achieve enlightenment.

Another prevalent Gnostic belief is that we are spiritual beings that are held  prisoner on this plane of existence by our spiritual body. A quote in the movie that reflects this belief is stated by a Priest during the time of inquisition he states “The body is a prison and ‘death’ frees every soul.” This sentiment is also repeated by Iz, Tom’s wife.  She also plays multiple roles throughout the film.  She is Tom’s queen during the Mid-evil period, she is his dying lover in present time, and in the spiritual time she is represented as being the “Tree of Life”.  And as she is dying of cancer she echoes the gnostic sentiment that she is not afraid of death because she sees it as a freedom an opportunity for renewal–essentially reincarnation in the liberal sense.

Tom is seeking a cure for his wife’s brain tumor. He ends up finding a cure but not before his wife passes away.  Concurrently, when she dies in real life she dies in the spiritual life.  This happens while Tom is in this bubble being transported towards a state of Nirvana or ascending towards Shibalba (state of nirvana beyond the nebula of a dying star) this is the state in which all things upon the earth was created.Capture1  The state is of renewal or a Phoenix like rebirth-from-the-ashes state.  Encased in this bubble is Tom and “Tree of life”. he is completely bald headed as though he is in a state of being initiated.  On his arms are tattoos like rings of bark on a tree, symbolizing all of the past life regressions that he has lived through.  Iz dies and it becomes a lesson learned for Tom.  As she dies from the tumor concurrently does the Tree of life begin to wilt.  Tom panics and begins to scale the “Tree of life”.  He revisits a past life–reshapes a memory–and consequently he scales the tree of life and burst out of the bubble, levitating into Shibalba (Eternity-renewal).  At the same time he reshapes the initial scene of the movie, in which he receives the mortal wound.  As he is struck by the Mayan priest, Tom ascends to a state of levitation (symbolizing his higher self) and the Mayan warrior/priest who struck him falls to his knees in praise/worship and offers himself up in sacrifice.  After slicing the warriors neck, a revitalized tree of life is revealed at the back of the Mayan temple. Tom stabs the tree and draws sap, the sap hits the ground and flowers immediately begin to blossom, he puts some of the sap on his wound and it is immediately healed. As so, Tom drinks as much of the sap as possible and realizes the tree is Iz.  The sap overcomes him, his mortal body dies and is overcome by rebirth in the form of plants growing feverishly from his body.  At this point he finally reaches Shibalba and his body is no more and he is one with Nirvana.

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This movie did not his as poignantly as other movies I’ve seen, say like Sublime but it offered insight nonetheless.  There were no prominent characters of color, so I really could not analyze the movie from my common white-male-patriarchal perspective.  But did offer great insight into my belief that the female energy is the purveyor of Creation.  She, essentially is the source of Creation, as being the first human like being on this planet. It is through her all things came and through her all things shall be sustained. As Tom’s role, I believe is the man’s job to protect this sacred feminine energy by any mean’s necessary, even  if it means self-sacrifice–laying down one’s life.  All and all, I found this to be a solid movie–very insightful to a specific belief structure–that I tend to hold as being more truthful than naught.

Snowpiercer (Movie Reflection)

Snowpiercer

–A movie that that provided more intrigue than I anticipated. It is a movie that is rich in theoretical launch points. Yet I will only reflect on a few.

It is yet another movie about a dystopian future, although it is framed with a twist.

The film revolves around a train called the Snowpiercer. It is a self-sustaining train that is home to the entirety of humanity–or what’s left of it. The entire population of earth was killed by an man-induced arctic age(in response to global warming), in true Noah’s arc fashion, the only survivors are those living on the train. The train circumnavigates the entire globe in a one year cycle. This is one of many biblical allusions that the film calls upon.

The train is divided into a social class hierarchy– the elites who are closer to the head of the train and the proletariat who are at the tail of the train. There supposedly is a middle class but to me they aren’t evident. Yet there is a clear divide between the have’s and have not’s.

As in many of the other movies that I have analyzed, it shares a common motif of the white-male patriarchal-dominated society within this condensed social ecosystem of a train.

At the very head of the train is a man named Wilford. He is depicted as a cyclical old white-man that utilizes psychological tactics to manipulate the whole of humanity(or what’s left). He has very little sympathy or empathy for any of the passengers on the train his only concern is to keep the train running. In fact his philosophy is that everyone has an arbitrary lot in life and they all must play their role, and that role isn’t chosen by them but chosen for them. He keeps himself imprisoned in the head of the train as a means of “self-sacrifice”, to show even the God of the train must suffer through isolation.

As in many of the other movies I’ve analyzed, Wilford uses the classic common ploys of secrecy, manipulation, scapegoats and violence to enact his will on to the people.

The fact that there is even an underclass was quite interesting. The underclass was reduced to starving and even cannibalism until the “generous” wil ford gave them rations of protein bars (which happened to be grounded up roaches). The underclass didn’t appear to provide much as far as labor. And the elite appeared to have an abundance of resources.
Wilford’s only justification for the mal treatment was “everyone has there preordained position in life.”

The dynamic created an odd ecosystem. Not one based on natural selection. Not really based on any selections process at all. It is simply an arbitrary social status put into place and all are attempting to survive the best way they know how. Wilford did exercise population control by manipulative means. He would work hand in hand with the leader of the underclass to incite various riots in which a portion of the population would then be massacred– justifiably.

Each social group is trapped in there own type of cage within a cage. The proletariat are in the back of the train, with very little resources. All they have to survive upon is their humanity and kindness for each other and the hope that they will one day have a successful revolt. The elite of the train are completely superficial, they have all the amenities but have no purpose in life. They too are stuck in the misery of living their entire existence on a train. No matter how you dress it up, you are on a train for the rest of your life. At the absolute head of the train is the Wilford– the god of the train. He keeps the engine running and although has all the “power” is completely sealed in isolation… He has very little interaction with the outside world, he simply stays in his castle pulling the puppet strings of the masses.

Another biblical allusion I found fascinating was the Trinity Motif. In which you have the main antagonist Wilford who sees himself as God but is actually satan, working in conjunction with the leader of the underclass who is depicted as a benevolent God like figure but is actually a devil because he leads his lambs to slaughter. And then you have the hope of the underclass, another young white man who is depicted as a Christ-like figure throughout the movie, he leads the revolt, but at the end of the movie it is revealed that he ate babies. It makes for an odd commentary about religion and the gods many of us serve. Where God and Christ were both used as instruments of hope by the manipulation of Satan to further his agenda.

Just kind of makes you wonder…

“We all die!” The children were indoctrinated to believe that if they left the train death was imminent… Any possibility of life outside of the box is null because there is no chance of survival outside of the train. I found this to be a great social commentary about the system we live in. Many of us believe this current way of life is the only manner of living. That without this globally established system we wouldn’t be able to take care of ourselves and chaos would ensue. But as the movie would later prove this idea was wrong.

I also found it ironic that the only way for humanity to escape this paradigm or system was to destroy the entire system and all that were slave to it.
At the end of the movie a massive train crash killed everyone except a small black boy and a late teen Asian woman. They were the lone survivors and survived outside of the train, and presumably were to usher in the next echelon of humanity (side note: the Asian gal was clairvoyant, if that means anything).

All and all I found this to be a great movie. Had many layers of thought provoking material and I only touched on a percentage of what it had to offer. I would recommend the movie for any thinker out there, for I’m sure you’ll find something worth your thoughts in this movie.

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Divergence vs. Transcendence (Movie Reflection)

Recently I watched two movies: “Divergence” and “Transcendence”. I will not give so much a summary of the movies in this blog entry, but I will give what I gathered from the movie.

Both movies are a foreshadowing of a dystopian future of some sorts. “Transcendence” alludes that in the future the earth will be comprised of one nation, under one man’s rule, under one man’s mindset, and all that will hope to survive have to be linked to this man in mind, body and soul via a digital sort of mind link. On the other hand, “Divergence” depicts a dystopia of a different nature. In this future setting people are controlled by their personality or output towards life. People are separated into distinct categories and only allowed to perform a predetermined set of functions. For example, you have your dauntless branch and their job is to protect the civilization, the erudite are seekers of knowledge and have more to do with managing the civilization etc. In this movie, individuals are not free to decide their fate (Yet free to choose which category they will live their life out as.) and any who shows signs of being a “divergent” or free thinker is killed.

These movies provided a strong commentary about those who are suggestible to being led and those incapable of being controlled…And the consequences of each.

These two movies also provide insight, from a social standpoint, of our perception or conception of what the function of God is. Or how some would like God to be. I have specific views about creativity, I personally do not believe that man is a creative being but merely a conductor of things considered “creative”. So when I view a particular work of art I filter it through a different lens. Not so much of a standalone work of art, but more of an ideal pulled from a pool of collective consciousness. So I see it as—there is some segment of society who readily identifies or will readily identify with what is being portrayed by the art form.

In the movie “Transcendence” we have this pale skin man who’s aim is to “make a better society for us all.” He feels that in order for the earth to run as it should there should be one mind in control of it all. One set of core values governed by one individual and one state mind. At one point of the movie they ask the character if he’s attempting to be like “God”. His response was something along the lines of isn’t man always attaining to such. From this we gather one segment of the society that we live in views on God.

–An authoritative figure who has all under his control. –A figure who is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. –A figure who cares for his subject but only those subjects that capitulate to his will. –A white male. –A figure who has access to all the earth’s resources and is in control of who receives what.
In the end of the movie the “God” character ends up sacrificing his own life for a greater love. But the end of the movie implies he’s not completely destroyed–a sort of resurrection is implied! Much like the Christ Motif.

In the movie “Divergence” we have a future of a different degree. In this movie we have no idea how encompassing this network of individuals are. How many populations are there beyond the walls of this community we don’t know. We simply have an isolated community that lives within a system– a system that is dominated by lack of free will. In this society the illusion of free will is granted. Yet anyone who has any true free will is slain. In this movie we have a small group seeking to usurp the power of the entire community and for what gain– it isn’t clear. Ultimately it is control for the sake of control.

In this movie we gather an alternative depiction of “God” or at least his methods.

–an unknown figure who sends others to do his bidding. –System oriented (does not want anything outside of the system in place to exist.) –Unquestionable authority.–Repays disobedience with violence. –Political. –Deceitful in nature.

Thus from these two movies one can gain insight as to the author and man’s perception of what it is to be god. The removing of free will… which is quite ironic because god is the definition of free will… Of choice… Of decision… To withdraw that and dictate circumstance is a confinement of the opposite orientation…To emasculate a people of their self-empowerment and awareness is anything but benevolent. If one truly had control one wouldn’t have to impose their will. Only those without any true authority have to constantly iterate how much authority they have.

Now if we look at the definitions of “God” that we gathered and apply it to some of themes we experience in everyday life, we can truly see who is trying to play god among us. We can see if the idea or perception that we ourselves have of god is truly a healthy one.

How much different is the God we were taught to pray to each night?

If we applied this definition to any particular organization, religious group, political state, or government– would it fit. If so, is that something you should follow without question?

I don’t have all the answers. But I sure have plenty of questions?

Are you a Divergent? Can you transcend your thoughts?